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The creative director of an advertising agency is the person in charge of the creative teams and is accountable for all the creative output – image, sound and language – which is produced for clients. They will supervise copywriters, designers, planners, developers and account handlers to ensure that the client’s interests are being met.
Creative directors will meet regularly with all members of the creative department to keep up-to-date on all progress, stimulate staff and offer ideas where appropriate.
In agencies with lucrative accounts and high-profile clients, the creative director may be the one who puts together storyboards or scripts, delivers pitches, presents work and goes to meetings to try and win new business. In smaller agencies, these responsibilities will be divided among creative staff members.
The creative director is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of an advertising campaign; in the case of success, they will take much of the credit; if the campaign does not meet its objectives then the creative director is similarly held liable. In this respect, creative directors must ensure that he or she gets the best possible work from their creative teams. They must approve it themselves and be able to sell it confidently to clients.
Creative directors need to stay up-to-date with consumer and advertising trends, current affairs and popular culture, in order to both source inspiration and produce the most relevant and engaging campaigns.
Most advertising creative directors will have started their careers as copywriters or designers. Some creative directors are employed on a freelance basis depending on the agency and the creative director’s area of specialisation.